Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Today we went to the Peoples Coop for the first time. My joy was getting there... got out of my house a few minutes late, then couldn't remember the address exactly so I wasn't sure what bus I needed to catch... once I found out what bus it was it didn't take too long to get to peoples, but perhaps longer than if I had known exactly how to get there. Once I found the room and went in it was a great experience.

I noticed much of what was being talked about when I first arrived was in our coursepack so that was very helpful to know I might not have missed to much. There were several questions that came to mind almost immediately, but since I was late, I didn't want to ask, if the question had been answered. As a consultant in my every day life, I think I may have looked at the opportunity to talk with a business different than others would have. I focused on space, comfort and just the general atmosphere as it related to business. I wanted to know the overall goals of the business, what they hope to accomplish, such as long term and short term goals. What I found was no one really knows. I think this surprised me considering they did finish an expansion project nearly 3 years ago. It seems there is a lot to do, so that is a good feeling, to know we are needed in some capacity.

My next concern was the structure overall. Lori mentioned how constrictive the cooperative legal structure is and this began an investigation on my part, because as a consultant it is one of the first areas we look at... What is the legal business entity? Then of course we look at the goals of the business overall all, this helps us to assess what is best for them and then decide on how best to help them save money and spend what money they have in a more effective way.

As I learn more and study more of the legal aspects, I'll get a better grasp on this whole concept, hopefully.

After class, I spent about an hour talking to people and walking around looking at everything that Peoples had to offer. Nice place. Too far from my home to go there except for class and also it doesn't have everything I would need to satisfy all of my needs as a consumer, some limitations for me personally. I talked to some non-members and asked why they were not members... it was mostly for the same reasons I wouldn't be... but they really liked it. The other comment I got from a couple of people that were not yet members was the limited amount of services. One comment in regards to that was, 4%, that doesn't seem like a lot. I did ask, if there were other services or benefits to membership that had nothing to do with food that made it worthwhile to even spend money on a monthly basis, if they would consider a membership and they didn't even hesitate in saying yes.

Of course, this was a small sampling but it did confirm my suspicious that people do want more and of course loyalty and growth are truly earned when you have bundled services that benefit all...

I did buy some things both in the store and at the farmers market before I left. My next task was finding my books... after a little bit of searching at books stores and finding my way around I went to the main Powell's bookstore, which I had never been to before and I found both books and a couple of additional books I did not originally intend to buy.